Daniel Sturridge’s hamstring injury may have prevented him from starting Liverpool’s last three matches but that streak will likely end this Monday when the Reds face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Brendan Rodgers announced Friday that the striker, who was restricted to a substitutes role in the 0-2 loss to Chelsea last week, is in contention to play at Selhurst Park after intensive rehabilitation under the eye of Liverpool’s medical staff.
“Initially they thought the hamstring injury was not going to be as bad as what it was,” Rodgers said.
“He has trained with the medical team and he worked hard to push himself to make an impact against Chelsea but it was clear that impact was not going to work for us. He has been in a much better phase this week and feels a lot better and he will certainly be in contention for the game on Monday.”
The importance of Sturridge’s return to the starting lineup can not be overstated. Assuming both Manchester City and Liverpool win out their remaining matches, City will be crowned champions assuming they can maintain their current goal differential advantage, which currently stands at eight. While overcoming that advantage over two matches is a longshot for Liverpool, the club has been known to drop five or more goals on an opponent (see: Stoke City, Arsenal, Cardiff City, Tottenham, Norwich City) so having the best XI available is paramount.
Heading into the penultimate weekend of the season Sturridge has 20 goals and 7 assists in 27 Premier League appearances.
Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.
The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.
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Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.
From the BBC:
No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.
There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.
This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.
It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.
Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.
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Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.
From the BBC:
Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.
“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.
Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.
Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.